Open Spaces: Art
Our biggest weekend of the year, Open Spaces festival is a celebration of the Convent’s people, spaces and places.
Discover a diverse range of exhibitions, participatory art projects, installations, and performances within the buildings and the striking landscape of the Convent grounds. Get ready to meet the many creatives who call the Convent home and experience some of their best projects and collaborations from 2018.
'A Call to Actions' by Luke George
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Providence Arts Space
'A Call To Actions' invites anybody and everybody to take part in a series of intimate and organic performances across the Convent precinct. The program is part of a triptych, 'Public Actions', which investigates how groups of people negotiate shared space and cultivate a community that allows for risk. Luke was the inaugural recipient of our new Residency Program.
Participate in an action: Saturday 3pm, 5pm and 7pm, and Sunday 1pm, 3pm and 5pm, meet at Providence Arts Space.
'A Room of My Own' by Minna Gilligan
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | C2.17, Convent building
Minna has embarked on an ambitious collage installation during her time undertaking the Abbotsford Convent Studio Residency Program. Visit Minna in her studio and experience her site-specific studio installation. Gilligan has entirely collaged the walls of the space with imagery from her personal collection of 1950s-1980s literature. The result is an intimate 'bedroom' like experience, exuding female energy and vague, non-specific feelings of warmth and nostalgia. The artist worked to subvert the trope of traditionally male spaces (e.g mechanics or sports locker rooms) being papered with images of pin up women from Playboy Magazine and similar. In contrast, Minna's space emanates agency, joy, and celebrates 'stereotypically' female, often domestic imagery in a way that is not geared towards rewarding a traditionally male gaze. Minna's collage installation will be complemented with floral arrangements by Tracey Gilligan from The Wilde Bunch florist.
'Above and Below' by Claire Robertson and Jasmine Robertson
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Dorm 1, Rosina building
'Above & Below' marks Convent-based artist Claire's first collaboration with her sister, Jasmine, combining their respective disciplines of video and movement through a performance captured by multiple cameras and mirrors. This work was proudly supported by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
c3 Contemporary Art Space
Exhibition: Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm
Artist Talks on Saturday: 2pm Amy Hurley | 4pm Simon MacEwan
Artist Talks on Sunday: 2pm Adam Stone | 3pm Zoe Bastin | 5pm Amy Hurley
Come visit the Convent’s c3 Contemporary Art Space at Open Spaces and hear from some of the exhibiting artists. The artist talks offer the opportunity for visitors to engage with and learn more about each exhibition, unpacking artists’ research and the ever-changing nature of individual artist's practice.
'Cloister Mirror' by John R. Neeson
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Convent Courtyard
A bevelled mirror and three trompe l’oeil paintings of it will be installed on field easels around the cloister. John will spend time at the Convent developing this site responsive work and invites visitors to engage with the unique features of the location and variations in light throughout the day.
'Cross-Section' by Katie Lee
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Lentil As Anything landing
Taking inspiration from the Convent as a Town Square where people come to watch, work and reflect, Cross-Section captures Katie pushing, manoeuvring and displaying sculptural objects in and around the grounds of the Convent. This work was proudly supported by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation and Katie regularly collaborates with projects at the Convent.
'Crownings' by Eva Abbinga and Larissa Linnel, and Eliot Palmer as Sound Artist
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Sheet Room, Sacred Heart building
'Crownings' is by Convent-based artists Eva and Larissa is an investigation and response to the histories of birthing, women’s health and maternal care in the twentieth century, created through shared actions of conversation, making and exchange. Earlier this year, Eva and Larissa ran a series of knitting circles onsite inviting Convent visitors to help create the artwork.
'CuriosiTEA' Pop-up Tearoom by Yumi Umiumare
Saturday 3 – 8pm and Sunday 1 – 5pm | Oratory, Sacred Heart building,
A fusion of Butoh, dance, performance and installation, with classical and contemporary Japanese tea ceremonies, audiences are invited to come and go, pause and reflect. As long ago as the 16th century, tearooms were created in war zones, with the tea ceremony functioning to relieve emotional stress and restore social order. Curious about what sort of ‘tea’ we can make today, Yumi invokes the Japanese notion of ‘ma’ or ‘active pause’ and serves you a bowl of 'curiosiTEA' with an element of surprise and provocation. Yumi is behind the dyanamic ButohOUT! Festival, held annually at the Convent and regularly performs and producers work onsite.
'Erosion' by Noriko Nakamura
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Bishop’s Parlour window and driveway
Through the excavation and installation of three large boulders, 'Erosion' presents a poetic conversation between artist Noriko and the material central to her work – limestone. After her residency at Gertrude Contemporary, Noriko's sculptural work became a year-round addition to the Convent site.
'Every1’s a Winger (Bingo Mode)' by Steven Rhall
Saturday 12 – 9pm and Sunday 12 – 6pm | Industrial School, upstairs
'Every 1’s a Winger (Bingo Mode)' responds to 'Aboriginal Art' as category, in the emulation of a bingo display. The sequence of 51 texts were drawn from a subjective reading of themes and materials encountered in the salon style Koori Art Show (2017), a group exhibition held annually at the Koori Heritage Trust. In this propositional work, Steven seeks to rupture, expand, and make new frameworks for the display of art by First Nation peoples, as independent from a 'Coloniality of Power'. Steven's work featured at the Convent's c3 Gallery and was commissioned as part of c3 Projects.
'Flux-Kit-Mel' by Jamie Lewis and Dan Koop
Saturday, 2 – 5pm | Heritage Gardens
Taking historical cues from the Fluxus movements of the 1960’s, FLUX-KIT-MEL by Jamie and Dan invites you to enact performance situations where the roles between artist and audience become interchangeable. Jamie and Dan are regular Convent visitors and collaborators.
'Nocturne' by Jennifer Whitten
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Mural Hall, Convent building
'Nocturne' investigates the similarities between plotting a map of the night sky and writing sheet music, and how it might sound if these two methods of notation were to merge. Presented as a series of paintings that take reference from the familiar characters of the Zodiac, Jennifer (based at the Convent), has translated the sky into a music composition performed on cello by Natasha Prewett.
Performances will occur Saturday 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm, and Sunday 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm with a run time of approximately 5 minutes.
‘Slow Goal’ by Chaco Kato
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | St Mary’s basketball courts
Make your way down to the bball courts and shoot some hoops with Chaco’s beautifully constructed nets as part of the Slow Goal installation. Artist Chaco Kato (part of Slow Art Collective who partner on Convent Kids programs) embraces collaboration, community engagement and sustainability in her practice, welcoming participation from artists and audiences alike. Working across many mediums from installation to small drawing, her signature medium is large-scale shelter-like installation making use of various types of string.
'I See Myself In You' by Penelope Hunt
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | St Heliers Street Gallery
Convent-based artist Penelope’s new series 'I see myself in you' focuses on how our connection to the environment can psychologically mirror the relationships we have with ourselves and each other.
'Three Weeks in Havana' by Helga Leunig
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | St Heliers Street Gallery
'Three Weeks in Havana' is a series of photographs documenting ordinary and everyday life in Havana, Cuba – a vibrant and unique city on the cusp of major change. Helga is a Convent-based artist and documentary photographer.
'Trinity: Faith, Hope and Charity' by Amanda Olle
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 4pm | Good Shepherd Chapel Crypt
This installation is a culmination of 6 years of community participation in the form of prayer tags placed on the Prayer Tree in the Good Shepherd Chapel. On Sunday 5pm, the installation pieces will be burned outside with a small ceremony (weather permitting and safety controls).
'Venus de Hoodie' by Penny Byrne
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm | Ground floor alcove, Convent building
As one of the newest Convent community members, Penny’s sculptural works are politically charged, highly engaging and often disarmingly humorous. Venus de Hoodie references classical Greek sculpture and modern day iPhone covers and hoodies worn by today’s youth. The exhibition is a perfect mix for a site such as the Convent, with its past steeped in history, and its present and future very much in the now. The wonderful alcove she has chosen to display the work will create a perfect juxtaposition between old and new.
'Wild Warrigal Greens! A Pots and Pans Procession' by Sonic Electric
Sunday, 1pm | Meet at the info hub
Processional sound and music as wedding noise, bonfire, church bells, carnival bands, seasonal celebrations have been used historically to develop ideas around how humans use noise, especially in ritual, celebration, performance and protest. This collaboration entails free improvisation with all kinds of tools from your own kitchen to create musical pathways through the Abbotsford Convent grounds ending at Sacred Heart. All ages welcome. This project is curated by Juliana España Keller as part of her ongoing artistic investigations of the Convent site.
Want to meet the art makers in our community? Check out demonstrations, workshops and open studios at Open Spaces.